I believe that company branding is the most important element today when it comes to success in attracting potential and returning customers. Nowadays, it is not only companies that need to ensure they are differentiating themselves through their branding however.
It is individuals too.
Personal branding is the art of promoting yourself and one, core skill to sell yourself in life and in work. It is the tool that distinguishes candidates and ensures you are memorable against others who are competing for the same jobs. It seems everyone has a degree these days, and is seeking more certifications, awards or listing new and exciting experiences. Therefore, when relying on traditional recruitment methods, it is getting harder and harder to see the difference between hiring certain people above others. That’s when having a Personal Brand comes in to help understand someone's reputation and what level of expertise they can bring to the table. Here are the three main reasons why having a Personal Brand helps people be more competitive.
1 – Distinguish An Area of Expertise
When building a personal brand, it is important to decide what area of expertise you want to be recognised for. Ask yourself: “What can I offer that will help a company make money or save money?”. For example, if a “Marketing” graduate claims to be an expert in Marketing - it is difficult to understand how specifically. Instead, it would make more sense for a marketer to highlight what area of marketing they have mastered throughout their experience such as Market Research, Social Media Management, or Content writing. Focusing on things that brought an ROI or “Return On Investment” such as, the percentage open rates increased by when they started writing email headers, will be a more tangible asset for a company in need of a Content Marketer.
2 – Leaving a Digital Footprint
The lines between our personal and work lives are becoming increasingly blurred, so some advice I give to job seekers is to publish work related achievements or events on their social media profiles, especially if they are related to their niche specialisation. This way they are building an online portfolio of “what they want to be known for” in the eyes of friends, contacts and colleagues. Seeing someone promote themselves through things they've done helps employers see the value they can bring. Moreover, it reveals their passion for their niche inside and outside of work, excitement and pride in the results. These qualities are incredibly appealing and helps to identify the "Golden Star" candidates
3 – Build Trust and Credibility
Trust is so important when it comes to anything in life. You just don’t do business with someone that you don’t trust. Naturally, it is easier for a company to hire someone who has gained their trust. Someone who is being open with their personal and professional development allows others to trust they are legitimate and trustworthy. Being discoverable under the social media spotlight not only builds a credible brand but also earns trust.
Personal branding is important when looking to transition into a new job, but is also vital to move up within a company as well. For larger enterprises, visibility across departments or between offices can be limited so the quiet, "head down" type of employee who just gets on with the tasks at hand without going that extra mile may be forgotten in favour of those that do. Gaining respect and appreciation of your talents builds confidence in your abilities. In an era of “likes, shares and comments”, if these talents are recognised and endorsed by others too, people outside your network are going to feel more confident someone is as great as they say they are. Everyone can see their capabilities and know you are someone that can be relied on and can get the job done. Check out my Facebook page for more tips and tricks on how to showcase your skills by using your Personal Brand.